Andy Bellatti: “Eat food as unprocessed as possible”

Note: This is an edited version of a Google Hangouts chat Andy and I had last week.

Welcome to another installment of "10 Words or Less," in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and ask for brief responses in return. Today's participant is that rare bird, a crusading dietitian, who rose to my attention on Twitter. Remember: The 10-words-or-less thing is an ethic, not a limit, so please, no counting. It's not so easy, and besides, let's see you do it.
Name Andy Bellatti
Occupation Wellness dietitian
Residence Henderson, Nev.
Family circumstance Single
Born when, where “Argentina, May 29, 1982.”
A formative event from childhood “Moving to the US, 1990”
Why did you move? “My father’s job. He was in IT.”
First paying job “Dog sitting when I was 10 years old.”
Any wisdom you learned there that’s still valuable? “Showing up on time when you say you’re going to.”
Name an influential person to you outside your familyMarion Nestle, the food-politics and nutrition expert.”
Something you’re passionate about “The truth.”
Something people don’t understand “Food politics.”
What should they know? “The influence food companies have on nutrition policy and guidelines.”
Why is that bad for them? “What they’re being told about nutrition isn’t always based on science.”
Do you experience any food problems? “No. I don’t consider my relationship with food problematic. If I have a craving, I eat something.”
A food rule you choose to follow “Eat food as unprocessed as possible.”
Why did you decide to pursue nutrition? “Because we all eat every single day.”
Yes or no: Most people think junk food is fun? “Yes.”
An argument you use to prove differently “I remind people of how they feel when they eat a lot of junk food, versus when they eat healthy foods.”
Moderation, or are there foods some people should avoid? “I don’t counsel moderation. Some should be eaten on a daily basis, some foods rarely if at all.”
Is obesity a dirty word, best avoided? “No. We have to talk about that.”
Is food addiction real? “Yes.”
Define food addiction “Uncontrollable urges, difficulty stopping, physical and or emotional dependence on certain foods.”
What is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics? “The professional organization that represents all dietitians in the United States.”
How much does it cost to be a member? “Depending, an average of $200-$250 a year.”
What good does it do? “Allows for networking with other RDs.”
What’s your beef with it? “Associations with big food companies that don’t care about health.”
What do Dietitians for Professional Integrity hope to accomplish? “We hope that the academy will cut its ties with those companies. That’s our main goal.”
What kind of support has emerged so far? “A lot of concerned individuals and support from a lot of food thought leaders.”
Like who? "Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle. Those are the two most high-profile individuals.”
Any indication AND is listening? “As of recently, there is some, but a lot more is needed.”
Why not just blow it off? “That just seems too easy. That’s partially may be what the academy wants. We want to hold them accountable and have a conversation.”
Nutrition and weight are so out of whack. Are we going to make it? “That’s up to all of us, and up to the kind of policy and environment that we create.”
Tell me something that sustains you “The quest for truth, and my desire to keep peeling back the layers of what’s going on.”
You can follow Bellatti on Twitter, and his website is Here’s the link to the Dietitians for Professional Integrity Facebook page. You should like it. I do.

Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
make investments in employee wellbeing that pay off in corporate success.
Video | Services | Clients